More than ever, today’s consumers are demanding products tailored to their specific needs. This trend had been established well before the pandemic. But the days of online shopping, social isolation, and 24-hour access to products on-demand have increased consumers’ appetite for more customized products when they want them. Brand owners must deliver, and that demand is driving the new opportunities for digitally printed, late-stage customized packaging that is part of the manufacturing process.
When multiple technologies — like digital inkjet printing plus form, fill and seal — are put together, it simplifies the packaging process by enabling customization of the packaging later in the manufacturing process. By avoiding additional stages within the supply chain, late-stage customization reduces the number of processes and minimizes waste, saving both time and money while providing favorable environmental benefits as well.
Late-stage customization also provides added flexibility that enables the customization and personalization required for seasonal marketing, special editions, regional offers, and private labeling efforts in order to be competitive in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
By combining full-color digital printing in-line with finishing capabilities, it becomes more accessible for brands to quickly deliver a customizable and affordable packaging solution.
Packaging Innovation Powered by Memjet
Technology advances, process simplification, optimized substrates, and an increasing number of rapid development inkjet components like those from Memjet are all helping to remove entry barriers and enable more companies to offer or incorporate digital printing.
An example of this is the introduction of V-Shapes’ AlphaFlex which represents the first in-line execution of Memjet DuraFlex® multicolor A3+ printheads and water-based pigment inks, as well as the first dual integration of the Memjet DuraFlex printing system into a single device. The technology was selected because of its compact footprint, 1600 dpi printing, and inks that dry quickly on inkjet receptive substrates as well as in accordance with food packaging safety regulations.
“The integration of in-line printing into our six-lane ALPHA machine enables packaging converters/fillers to accomplish the complete manufacturing process of our unique single-dose sachets under one roof with a compact footprint and full color branding available on both sides of the sachet, in-line, on-demand and with the industry’s highest quality,” says Jesper Gustavsson, Business Development & Founding Partner of V-Shapes.
Each printing module of the AlphaFlex prints a single side of the single-dose sachets in-line, synchronized with each other, and precisely married for die cutting, filling and sealing. Buffers are used to ensure alignment of printing speed with the manufacture of sachets by the Alpha six-lane machine. This is an achievement unique in the marketplace. “The marriage of these technologies into a single, high-performance system is a testament to the skill, knowledge and dedication of the respective R&D teams,” says Russell Boa, Senior Vice President of Sales – North America and EMEA at Memjet.
“There has already been extreme interest in AlphaFlex from both converters and brand owners who see this as a way to achieve faster time to market in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving marketplace,” adds Gustavsson. “We are looking forward to placing AlphaFlex systems at customer sites by the end of the summer.”
Earlier this year, V-Shapes also introduced VS dflex, a nearline printing solution for customization of its sachets. It was a first step toward full in-line capabilities and provides options for responding to consumer trends affecting the packaging market.
Learn more about the Powered by Memjet print solutions from V-Shapes.